Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Brocade Unveils Backbone Switch

Brocade today unveiled the DCX Backbone, the new high-end switch in the vendor's product line, which will become a focal point in Brocade's simmering rivalry with Cisco.

The DCX Backbone is the linchpin in Brocade's Data Center Fabric (DCF) strategy announced in October. DCF unifies networks based on other Brocade switches, incorporates enhanced server virtualization support, offers quality-of-service controls, and is configured to support and manage a range of upcoming storage technologies, including Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

In this first release of DCX, which will be shipped by Brocade and by OEM partner Sun Microsystems starting immediately (followed by other partners later this half), the platform runs 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel and Ficon along with 1-, 2-, 4-Gbit/s versions of those protocols. It also supports 1-Gbit/s Ethernet, FCIP, and iSCSI connections.

Notably, Brocade also announced 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel support for its 48000 director switches today. The DCX also natively supports lower-speed links to Brocade's directors, including the Brocade 48000 and former McData products, the Mi10K and M6140.

Rival Cisco does not yet offer 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, though a spokeswoman hints that it's in the works. "Cisco will be supporting 8Gb FC in the second half of 2008," writes spokeswoman Lee Davis in an email to Byte and Switch. She stresses that customers won't have to buy a new chassis for the increased speed; linecards will be offered for MDS switches.

  • 1